The origin of the crepe (galette) is French and this versatile food is most associated with Brittany, a region in the Northwest of France. A crepe is basically a very thin pancakes usually made from wheat flour or in this case buckwheat flour. Crepes are interesting because not only are they multifaceted but they are also very simple to make and can be made ahead of time and then assembled to order!
There are many advantages to utilizing buckwheat flour when making crepes such as their gluten-free properties and also the earthy taste that this flour gives the crepe. I think the name of this flour is ironic since buckwheat is not wheat or even a grass but actually related to rhubarb and sorrel. From a nutritional standpoint, this dish is a great option for people with celiac disease or gluten allergies, and since it is so mild and versatile, it could be a potential staple in ones diet.
Here is a video of a crepe being made on the traditional surface:
Combining buckwheat flour, salt, water and a large egg together in a bowl is all it takes to execute this batter. The only thing that you might not have in your kitchen is buckwheat flour, but it can be substituted with all-purpose as well, so there are no more excuses for boring weeknight dinners! After whisking all of the ingredients together, you need to cover the batter and refrigerate for about 2 hours. The batter needs to be pulled from the fridge about an hour before use. It is important to make sure that the consistency is perfect. This batter is extremely cheap to make, so if you are new at making these galettes, the best way to test the batter is to make a crepe and see what happens. To test the batter, you pour the batter into a hot crepe pan and swirl it around until it is a very thin coat, pouring out any excess batter. Note: You do not need to go out and buy a crepe pan, any non-stick pan will do!
You then cook this until it is no longer raw, but not brown either. You then flip the crepe using your fingers to finish the other side and then slide out of the pan.
Feel free to try and flip your crepe in the pan, but if this happens, do not get discouraged!
(Some motivation to use a good pan)
Just get back up and try again! Failing is the best way to learn!
You can make this dish savory or sweet and as complex or as simple as you want. We decided to use breakfast ingredients since we made these in the morning. We started by grating fresh Parmesan cheese, and then piled on the French Thyme, black forest ham, and then topped it off with a sunny side up egg. We then folded in the sides to showcase the star of the dish (egg) and then garnished it with fresh Thyme from the garden.
The dish was light yet filling, complex yet simple, and easy yet elegant. The presentation of this dish reminded me of a fancy open-faced sandwich with only a fraction of the calories. It is important to use fresh ingredients when assembling the galette since there is very little starch and the taste of the ingredients steal the show. I feel that these days the bread is usually the star and we have forgotten how to let ingredients speak for themselves. Using fresh and local ingredients to fill the galette is the best option and makes for a delicious meal, snack or dessert anytime of the day! So the next time you have "nothing to eat", put the loaf of bread back in the cabinet, grab these affordable and simple ingredients, and whip up the Crème de la Crepe! Enjoy!